≡ Menu

April 2017 Goals and Financial Update


April Financial UpdateHappy May Day! Can you believe 2017 is 1/3 over already? Is it strange that I think of everything in terms of percentages and fractions? It makes time goes by quicker for some reason. Pretty soon the year will be half over, then ¾, then 2017 will be gone. There is so much left to do.

April was a mixed bag for us. Our income was good, but we spent more money than usual as well. I got a Hyatt Chase card earlier this year because I wanted to get the sign up bonus of 2 nights stay at any Hyatt. The condition is we had to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. However, I found myself in a bind because we usually don’t spend that much money. After 2 months, we were at around the $800 mark. That meant we had to spend $1,200 in April. Ugh! That’s why I dislike trying to qualify for these credit card sign up bonuses. I end up spending more money than usual to fulfill those conditions.

At first, I thought I could get some grocery gift cards, but it seems gift card purchases don’t qualify toward the $2,000. Instead, I paid some bills ahead of time. I used the card to pay extra on the rental’s trash removal and water bills. We also paid ahead on RB40Jr’s kung fu class and ate out a bit more than usual. The result is a higher than normal expense month, but still under budget. I plan to use the 2 free nights at a Hyatt resort in Cancun later this year. They’d better be worth the trouble. If anyone knows a good tip on “manufactured spending”, let me know in the comments below. I’m not very good at travel hacking.

Okay, let’s go over my 2017 goals first and then see the details of our cash flow in April.

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you sign up with any services through the link on this page.

2017 Goals

At the end of April, the year is 33% over. It’s still early, but we need to be vigilant and not procrastinate too much. If you put things off, they will just be more difficult to accomplish later on. This is especially true on those goals that take all year to finish. Our savings goals for example are tracking around 33% and we need to keep it up. It’s best to not let these fall behind.

This is my goal scheduling spreadsheet. Things are generally pretty good. The only one that’s in trouble is the Pinterest goal. All in all, it’s not too bad for the first third of 2017.

Goal spreadsheet

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account– We’re doing very well here and have saved $18,145 so far. This one is right on track.
  2. Dividend Income $11,500– I’ll update our passive incomepost next week and you can see the details there. In 2017, we received $3,637 in dividend so far. This is also right on track. Recently, I sold a few stocks when I heard Loyal3 is going to shut down. I’ll need to transfer the money over to our brokerage account and reinvest them.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – This is passive income divide by expense. Currently, our FI ratio is 71% 92% in 2017. ( I made a mistake in my spreadsheet.) That’s behind our goal of 78%.  Okay, 92% is much better. I’m pretty happy with our FI ratio now. This one is actually pretty hard to track because a lot of dividends will be paid out near the end of the year. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll meet our goal.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX– Our net worth gained 5.6% so far in 2017. That’s really good for just 4 months. However, it is about 1% behind our benchmark. The VFORX (2040 fund) is up 6.8%. That’s incredible. We’re behind, but I’m not going to worry about it. We’ll see how the rest of 2017 goes. The stock market can’t keep going at this pace.
  5. Move RB40Jr’s 529 plan to Vanguard– I sent in the paperwork so this should be done soon.
  6. Move Mrs.RB40’s IRAs to Vanguard– We sent in the paperwork for this one also.

Blog Goals

  1. Online income > $36,000/year– We’ve been doing incredibly well this year and made $25,587 so far in 2017. We’re 71% to our goal and I’m really grateful to you, our readers. I was hoping to keep up this pace for the rest of 2017, but we’re seeing some slow down. Our online income will be down next month and probably stay down for the summer.
  2. Redesign Retire by 40– This one is a huge job and I’m not quite ready to start yet. However, I might as well get going in May. It will probably take a few months to complete.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits– I’m trying to grow traffic from Pinterest. We are a quite a bit behind the target at the moment. I’ll need to do something different or we’ll never accomplish this goal. In April, I tried to be more active on Pinterest throughout the day, but it didn’t help much. I’ll keep at it…

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness– April was a pretty good month for fitness. I made it to the gym almost every weekday so that was great. I also met my goal of 7,000 steps per day. In April, I walked about 7,250 steps per day. That’s not bad at all.
  2. Start a new site – Yes! I started a new site with a focus on fitness – Fit by 40. There isn’t much traffic, but that’s okay for now. I’m using it mostly for personal improvement. It’s working really well and I’m much more active this year than in 2016. I don’t know why blogging helps so much, but it works for me.
  3. Join Toastmasters– This one is scheduled for the 2nd half of the year.
  4. RB40Jr’s after school programs– RB40Jr is now going to Wushu (Chinese martial art) classes and soccer practice. He doesn’t like these activities because it’s hard for him. He’d rather stay home and play with the tablet, but he needs to learn to toughen up. Hopefully, these activities will help him develop more grit.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse– I reserved a campsite at the beach. We’re set for August. I’m really looking forward to this trip.
  2. National Park– We visited Fort Vancouver National Monument over spring break. We decided to skip camping at a National Park because our summer schedule doesn’t have much time left.
  3. International Trip– We plan to visit Mexico in November. It should be a cheap trip because we have plenty of reward points to use on flights and accommodations. The Hyatt card mentioned earlier should help a lot. I’ve never been to an all inclusive resort before so it’d be interesting to see if we like it. Normally, we like to mingle with the locals.

Net Worth (+5.6% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. For 2017, I’ll make it simple and try to beat the Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund, VFORX. Their current allocation is about 88% stocks and 12% bonds. I thought this was a good measuring stick and we should be able beat it. Now that we’re a third into 2017, I can see that it’d be really tough to beat VFORX if the stock market is doing well. Next year, we’ll probably just avoid benchmarking altogether. It doesn’t seem to add anything useful.

Our net worth increased about 5.6% so far in 2017. That’s amazing for just 4 months. For the rest of 2017, I’m going to be more conservative and bulk up our bond index fund. I’m very happy with our net worth gain so far this year so more bond would help steady the portfolio. We are a bit behind VFORX, but it isn’t a big deal to me.

April Net Worth

Here is our net worth on Personal Capital. It went up about 1% in April so that’s great. The little dips are accounts being transferred.

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your investment accounts. We have many accounts and Personal Capital helps us see the big picture quickly. Also, I’m a huge fan of their awesome retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

April 2017 Cash Flow

We had another very good month financially. Our income was much higher than average. Our spending was higher than usual, but still under budget so it’s not that bad. Let’s go over the details.

April Cash FlowTake Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income target is $5,000 and we came in above that at $9,861. Our income streams were all rolling in and we just need to keep it up.

Mrs. RB40’s paycheck: $5,193. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise this year and she is bringing in great income. That’s one reason why she doesn’t want to quit working full time yet. She also doesn’t want to deal with health insurance uncertainties at this point. The employer sponsored health plan is working really well for us.

Rental income: $569. Our rental income was lower than usual because I prepaid some utility bills. It should even out in a few months.

Online Income: $7,194. We had a fantastic month with online income. This year I’m focusing on increasing our income so Mrs. RB40 can retire sooner. I’m adding more affiliate links and focusing on writing relevant articles that will be helpful to investors. Here is how we generated online income last month.

  • Banner ads: $1,461. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40.
  • Affiliates: $5,885. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our links, then we sometimes earn a referral fee. You can see an example from the Starting a blog post below. Q1 was really good for affiliate income and it is starting to slow down now. Next month, our income will be lower.
  • Brand promotion: $300. I worked with a company to promote their brand.
  • Expenses: -$453. Internet, email service, CDN, cell phone, hosting, meals, USPS, etc…

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. Thank you for your support! 

Dividend income: $1068. Dividend income was good in April. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $16.

Crowdfunding: $102.

  • P2P lending: $102. I’m slowing getting out of P2P lending. I just don’t think they will do well when the economy turns south.
  • Realty Shares:$0. I funded my first deal at RealtyShares in January. It’s a commercial property in Arizona and it will payout once per quarter. We should see our first payment in May or June.
  • KickFurther: $0. I invested about $1,300 at Kickfuther. Kickfurther is similar to P2P lending, but investors lend to small businesses instead of individual borrowers. The big difference here is the money will be used to fund inventory. The investors own the inventory and we can vote to liquidate the inventory if the business can’t sell it. You can read more about them next week when I go over our passive income.

Pre-tax savings: -$2,890. I sent $1,500 to my solo 401k. Mrs. RB40 saved $1,390 in her retirement account.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our monthly expense target was $4,500 per month and we spent $4,265. That’s higher than usual in the cool season, but really not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Housing: $2,289. This includes the mortgage, HOA, and property tax. Housing is a huge part of our monthly expense. We may have to move to a cheaper location to reduce this expense.

Cash Allowance: $200. I took out $200 because I wanted to buy a used bicycle. I picked up an old Specialized for $165. Probably overpaid for this one…

Groceries: $461. This is good for a family of 3. I’m pretty happy as long as we keep it under $500.

Transportation: $68. This is for gasoline and parking.

Pet: $18.

Kid: $542. We spent more money than usual this month on RB40Jr. This includes the Wushu lessons and soccer league fee. He also got some new clothes and shoes.

Bills: $239. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $80.

Entertainment: $129. We ate out quite a few times in April. This category also includes my gym membership fee.

Misc: $238. Portland city tax and 2 pans from Amazon.


YTD Extra Savings: $24,519

April was a very good month and we saved $5,596. Our income exceeded our expenses by a large margin and it is great! This is when you feel rich, when you have plenty of positive cash flow. So far in 2017, we saved $24,519 extra. This is already more than the whole 2016 so we’re doing really well this year.

Part of this extra savings will be sent to our Roth IRA later. We’ll probably hold the rest in cash while we search for other investment opportunities.

Can Mrs. RB40 retire?

This is a new section I’m adding for 2017. I want to see what happens if Mrs. RB40 stops working full-time. Basically, I will remove Mrs. RB40’s income from our spreadsheet and stop contributing to our tax-advantaged accounts.

Drum roll please … for April 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early! We had another great month and it would be awesome if we can keep this up for the rest of the year.

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $4,683 in April! This is due to our excellent online income. 2017 is looking really good so far.

April 2017 wrap up

April 2017 was another great month at the RB40 household. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders and our expenses were reasonable. Everything is just going really well. We haven’t had a great streak like this in a long time so we feel good. Usually, our finances has more ups and downs.

Now, let’s go on to May. I’ll start the redesign process on Fit by 40 first to get up to speed. This will let me take my time to experiment while keeping Retire by 40 stable. Once I have the process down, I’ll update Retire by 40. This will probably take a while to accomplish because I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to this. It’s a lot of work.

Did you have a good April?

The following two tabs change content below.
Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
Get update via email:
Sign up to receive new articles via email
We hate spam just as much as you
{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Buy, Hold Long May 1, 2017, 1:49 am

    Looks like most of your goals are going very well. I hope you can continue this year well on track and make it all happen!

  • FIREin' London May 1, 2017, 2:51 am

    Congratulations on a great April! Seems like you are really ploughing on – keep it up!
    April was average for me, nothing spectacular but not terrible, slow and steady!

  • [email protected] May 1, 2017, 2:54 am

    Looks like an amazing month RB40. I also don’t like getting credit cards for signup bonuses. My monthly spending outside my mortgage payment isn’t high enough to be able to get those bonuses – even when traveling my costs are pretty low. For me it’s just not worth the hassle. Plus now that my credit is frozen, I have to think about whether or not it’s worth lifting the freeze to sign up. Keep up the good work!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:41 am

      I can put business and rental expenses on them, but I’d have to switch back to the regular plan later. It’s a big hassle. Even adding those expenses, we still barely made $2,000 in 3 months. The benefit is nice, though…

  • Michael @ Financially Alert May 1, 2017, 2:56 am

    Hey Joe, congrats on keeping the online income numbers up!

    I had a pretty nice April with an almost 4% jump in NW this past 30 days alone.

    In addition to spending less, we got a chunk of change back from our tax refund, some market windfalls, and property appreciation.

    It’ll be interesting to see where things end up by the end of the year. Cheers!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:42 am

      Oh wow, 4% increase in NW. That’s fantastic for one month.

  • Mr. Tako May 1, 2017, 2:59 am

    Wow, great blog income Joe! Very impressive! That’s definitely one of your FI strengths!

    While our budgets are really similar, most of my income tends to come from dividends. We’re trying to grow our dividend income by 10% this year and exceed $50k.

    Looking forward to the site redesign!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:43 am

      I think you’re doing great with your dividend income. 10% growth would be great. I think we probably can grow around 5% this year. I don’t know what to buy at this point so I’ll probably just put any extra money into an index fund.

  • [email protected] May 1, 2017, 3:26 am

    Looks like a great month! I especially love this statement “I don’t know why blogging helps so much, but it works for me” in regards to your fitness goals. You nailed it here – go with whatever works for you! That’s solution-focused thinking. We add grocery gift cards to our order when we are at the checkout with our normal groceries when we need to put spending on new credit cards. They’ve always counted for us (although YMMV). Sometimes they say that, but their computers can’t or don’t decipher it as part of a regular order. We have no trouble putting spend on cards! We just paid our taxes with them and earned 200,000 Ultimate Reward points through Chase. (http://www.gocurrycracker.com/pay-taxes-with-credit-card/) and here is a more general one. (http://www.gocurrycracker.com/credit-card-minimum-spend-strategies/) Hope they help!

    • savvy May 1, 2017, 10:46 am

      I’ve had similar experiences with grocery gift cards being counted as a part of my usual shopping. I will caveat that I’ve only purchased a few hundred, not thousands, of dollars at a given time.

      I’m debating whether or not I want to pay taxes with a credit card. The frugal part of me doesn’t want to pay the fee but the other side of me realizes the benefits would be worth much more than any fee paid since it’s only 1.87%.

      If you’re planning to continue travel hacking, read up on the Chase 5/24 rule.

      • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 1:56 pm

        Great, thanks! I will try grocery gift cards next time.
        We’re getting money back this year so the taxes wouldn’t work for us. 1.87% isn’t too bad.

  • Mustard Seed Money May 1, 2017, 3:34 am

    Wow you are crushing it!!! That’s awesome how well you’re doing with your blog and if you crack open Pinterest you’ll have to share. I hear it’s a great way to drive traffic but I haven’t seen the huge gains that others have shared so far 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:44 am

      Thanks! Pinterest seems to work a ton better with women. I’ll keep working on it… Or maybe I just need to hire someone to help. It doesn’t seem worth the investment, though.

  • The Tepid Tamale May 1, 2017, 3:40 am

    Joe, thanks for these great transparent posts, keep them up! I appreciate a ‘real’ person out there in the blogging world. It helps me as I start to navigate these waters!

  • Financial Coach Brad May 1, 2017, 4:14 am

    I love the new “Can Mrs. RB40 retire?” section! My wife early-retired almost exactly one year after I did. It’s great to have both spouses early-retired at the same time!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:45 am

      I hope she can retire a year or two before her 2020 target date. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Team CF May 1, 2017, 5:03 am

    Wow, what a month/first third of the year. Overall you are doing rather good, I’d say. Very impressive online income too, hope you can keep that up!

  • Apathy Ends May 1, 2017, 5:24 am

    The blog is doing awesome this year Joe!

    I had a good Pinterest thing going last year, but so far this year it has been disappointing, trying to get back on track but I don’t have time to sit and figure it out.

    We are in the middle of Mrs AEs Maternity leave so only collecting partial pay for her, the financial goals are taking a hit but that was to be expected

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 8:46 am

      I heard Pinterest changed a bit, but I haven’t been following it closely. The last few weeks has been slower so I don’t know what’s going on there.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance May 1, 2017, 5:36 am

    I’m glad you and your family had a great month. Congrats on Mrs. RB40’s promotion!

    I feel your pain on the Chase card. It could benefit us financially, but it could also be a vicious trap. I got a couple of store credit cards, mostly for clothing, but I have decided not to get more. I’m actually letting my Target card close on its own for inactivity.

    I’m so excited about the progress of RB40 and about your new blog. I’ll be on of the first ones to check it out. ^.^

  • The Magic Bean Counter May 1, 2017, 7:10 am

    You’re killin it RB40! Congrats on all the success so far this year. Good luck to reaching your goals for the last 2/3 of the year!

  • The Grounded Engineer May 1, 2017, 7:12 am

    You track everything so well – classical engineering mindset!

    I like the Fit by 40 blog idea… I look forward to reading your journey on that site for inspiration on my own fit journey.

  • Ms. Montana May 1, 2017, 9:12 am

    I’ve been trying to decide if I should jump into Pinterest. I just hit 1 year today, so that might be on the docket somewhere in year 2. =) Congrats on another great month! Your killing it with the blog income!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 1:57 pm

      You should get on Pinterest. I think you will do very well. Your content seems more suited to Pinterest.

  • FinancePatriot May 1, 2017, 9:46 am

    Congrats on the great month Joe!

    For the Hyatt card, I would suggest you and your wife get the card to get four free nights instead. If you want to pay your mortgage with a 2.5% nominal fee, you can use plastiq.com Now, this isn’t worth it for normal payments, but it’s well worth it for meeting minimum credit card spend. I am sad to admit we have no problems meeting minimum spends in our household. I wish we did. Also, the Hyatt free nights CAN be used at all inclusive resorts. You should also try to get free flights, too.

    I am big into credit card hacking, so if you’d like more tips, please contact me via my blog/email address.

    I am hoping the Mrs. will join you as you have more than enough to retire on, in my opinion. I found that me not hating my job kept me nice and complacent. My job has deteriorated in the past year and now I am retiring. It’s possible your wife doesn’t hate her job yet. It’s not a bad spot to be in, especially if you make six figures, but it also keeps you from making any big, positive life changes.

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 1:58 pm

      I’ll ask my wife. She hates doing these travel hacking stuff so I don’t know if she’ll do it.
      Good luck with your retirement.

  • Peter May 1, 2017, 9:51 am

    I’m an MS’er (manufactured spender) and in most cases, gift cards (of any kind) count towards the minimum spend requirements for a credit card. Most credit card companies do not know what you buy at shops, so its pretty difficult for them to know if you bought a gift card.

    I think you did the right thing to meet the minimum spend requirement as you prepaid your bills ahead of time instead of spending on random stuff. That’s pretty much the only non-traditional MS avenue to meet minimum spend.

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2017, 1:58 pm

      Great! Thanks for letting me know. I will try the gift cards next time.

  • Al May 1, 2017, 10:35 am

    Congrats in an exceptional well done job. You must had work or train in productivity because your use of goal setting and WIP. Nevertheless, its awesome how well you are doing.

    Credit card hack. We pay our bills like trash, gym, phone, groceries, water, electrical, gas, travel, and more with a 2% cash rebate credit card so 2% of our expenses come back in cash. We also use the Costco credit card but only pays 1.5% cash back.

    The only bill we could not pay with the credit card our mortgage.

    It goes without saying that the real hack is to pay the credit card every month. We have it set up that it automatically draws from our account to be paid.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher May 1, 2017, 2:00 pm

    Great job on those money goals! Have you considered Pinterest ads? I get a good chunk of traffic when I run Pinterest ads promoting my freebies.

    Our April was … not good. We were over budget on pretty much every budget category. Urf. Mr. Picky Pincher and I talked it over and we plan to do better next month. 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:08 am

      I haven’t tried ads. That might be a good idea. I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks! Good luck next month.

  • Fairly Frugal Fella May 1, 2017, 4:46 pm

    Wow, great job on the blog income! It’s only a 1/3 into the year and you’re doing awesome. I gotta take notes on how to get to that point some day. I still can’t seem to figure pinterest out.

    Even though the housing expense is large, you’re doing fantastic with the other expenses.
    Keep up the great work. As always, love seeing these monthly breakdowns

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:09 am

      Housing is a tough one for us. We’d have to move to a cheaper location if we want to decrease that.

  • Mr. Need2Save May 1, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Great job as always on the blog income. It’s also good to hear that your fitness goals are still on track. I’m still impressed by the pull-ups you posted a while back. And that total solar eclipse is going to be awesome – wish I could see it in my neck of the woods.

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:10 am

      Thanks! My pull-ups is stuck at 15 now. I can’t seem to do any more than that. Oh well. I’ll keep working on it. Eclipse should be really awesome.

  • Jay May 2, 2017, 4:51 am

    Thanks for the update, and glad to see you’re making such strong progress. It’s hard to believe it’s already May! But glad you aren’t letting this year sneak by on you. Keep up the great work!

  • jonathan May 2, 2017, 6:16 am

    Really impressed by your online income!
    I wonder what have been your monthly averages for banner ads and affiliates (referral fees) over all the years you’ve blogging.

    Would love some statistics/graphs on those.

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:11 am

      In 2016, the banner ad was under $1,000 per month. The affiliate was about $1,000 per month as well. This year is much better because I added some affiliate and changed ad network. Pretty amazing how small moves can change income so much.

  • K. McGarrett May 2, 2017, 7:21 am

    Regarding manufacturing spending to meet credit card spend amounts, I would buy something that would. not be used more because there was a large supply of it lying around. Toilet paper comes to mind, dog and cat food, kitty litter, even coffee (to be stored in the freezer). I wouldn’t go to restaurants because I see that as self-defeating, i.e., the restaurant money could have gone towards the hotel stay.
    Unfortunately, Canadian credit cards don’t let you benefit from paying large bills like property taxes though a service that converts credit card payments to cheques. They are counted as a cash advance.

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:13 am

      We don’t have space to store stuff. I agree about going out to restaurants. We ate out a couple more times than usual and shouldn’t get into the habit. It’s back to normal now, though.

  • Mr. Grumby May 2, 2017, 8:08 am

    Great job, Joe. I really need to write some of my goals down. Mrs G. is adept at goal setting by I have always had trouble with it. Clearly it helps. I want to take a documentary film class here in Portland (NWdocumentary.org) but keep putting it off. If I set the goal, maybe I’ll get it done.

    • retirebyforty May 2, 2017, 9:13 am

      Writing down the goals and tracking them make a huge difference for me.
      Good luck with the film class. It sounds like fun.

  • SMM May 3, 2017, 7:12 am

    Best of luck on the goals. It seems like you are a supporter of Vanguard funds too. I like them because of their history, variety and low fees.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 4, 2017, 11:55 am

    I always think of the year in fractions too 🙂

    I love doing credit card churning but I’m very strategic about it, I set up my spreadsheet ahead of time to make sure that I have enough planned / regular expenses in the three month spending period before I apply for the card. I don’t ever apply before mapping that out because I don’t want to be stuck overspending accidentally.

    Examples: water/sewer, any eating out (which is minimal normally) and groceries, gas, travel expenses (passports, admin fees, booking travel or buying gift cards for the airlines I intend to use), buying discount gift cards from discount sites for stores I already spend at, life/car/property/quake insurance policies. I LOVE it when I have work related expenses that will be reimbursed, those always go on these cards.

    There’s almost always something, just make sure that you strategically clump your expenses for the times of the year that you’ll be getting the card. Some people can put daycare on there – like Mrs BITA, how I envy that 🙂 Email me if you have questions, happy to help you!

    I hope RB40Jr learns to love wushu! It’s great exercise and good for self confidence.

    Our April was good, I didn’t get around to posting the update til today, though 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 4, 2017, 8:40 pm

      I hate the credit card churn… We’ll take a couple of months off and do more later. Maybe when we have a big bill coming.
      I hope he likes wushu more soon. It’s tough right now because he doesn’t follow direction well.

Leave a Comment